But mental health issues can strike without warning. In June I started getting stressed, confused, irritable and generally not feeling well. The worst thing I do is ruminate over the same issue obsessively, which begins a downward spiral. Somehow, despite my mental health, I managed to continue my training.
The feeling passed after seeking medical advice and I started feeling more positive again. So much so, I booked to participate in Ironman 70.3, Venice 2021. The triathlon is a stepping stone to the main event, and includes a swim of 1.9km, cycle of 90km and 21.1km. Remember, I couldn’t swim!
In July another milestone was hit – the swimming pool reopened, meaning I could start swimming lessons. Six intensive weeks later I was ready to attempt my first sprint triathlon.
On 13 September I was on the triathlon start line ready to jump into the pool. As I pushed off into the water, I knew my life had changed direction for good. I completed the swim leg and ran down to fetch my bike. I managed to complete it 15 minutes quicker than my previous best time on the route.
The run leg was purely enjoyable. I cannot describe it any other way. As I neared the finish, the feeling was amazing. As I was turning around to look for my wife, Linda, the MC announced: “Runner #267 it’s this way”. I thought I best keep going. And with that it was over. Success.
But this isn’t the end, it’s the start of my journey to Ironman 2022. I’m so excited to make it happen and continue with a happier and healthier life. Read more on my blog https://bipolarironman45.wordpress.com/
Read more about our OPEN employee resource group for anyone impacted by a disability.